7 ways to tame your email monster

Here are some suggestions from a newsletter I read.  It has to do with dealing with email while writing a report, proposal, requirements document or memo.

1. Never try to write when you might receive ANY alert (either audio or visual) about emails lurking. Turn off your notifications or simply shut down your email software. Writing can sometimes be hard and when we’re tired or frustrated it’s all too tempting to switch to doing something more entertaining like reading an email.

2. Don’t fret about what you might miss when you’re signed off. If this thought distresses you, simply calculate a minimum acceptable response time for your employer. The vast majority of businesses will see a two-hour response as “very quick” so that means you need to check your email no more than four times per eight-hour day.

3. Don’t check your email first thing in the morning. Most people have more energy in the morning. This is the time when you should be writing, working on important projects or eating frogs. Why spend your precious high-energy time on other people’s agendas? Put your own work first!

4. Think about how your super speedy responses may be contributing to your email problem. If you generally respond to emails within five minutes then you’ll quickly become known as “rapid Rosemary” or “speedy Spencer.” In other words, people will EXPECT you to reply quickly. But if you establish a track record of responding within 12-24 hours, they’ll adapt to your habits.  (If they have something urgent, they will phone you.)

5. Batch your emails. Set specific times of day when you’re going to deal with your emails. If you’re working an eight-hour day, for example, you might designate 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm and 4:30 pm. To really reinforce this goal, keep your email software turned off and launch it only when you need to send an email (then turn it off again right away) or during one of your designated pickup times.  

6. Play “beat the clock” when processing email.   Handle it once and quickly.

7. Tell your boss and/or clients what you’re doing. Be sure to tell everyone about your new policy for email. If you want extra Brownie points, ask your boss or clients to call or text you if there’s anything super urgent. And if you happen to mention that you’re doing this to improve your efficiency for them, my hunch is they’ll be both delighted and flattered.

For complete item see http://www.publicationcoach.com/7-ways-to-tame-your-email-monster/

What do you do to tame your email monster?

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